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My five year old currently goes to dancing and swimming, there seems to be a neverending list of activities for them to do (or that their friends do) all her friends seem to do these or more activities or different activities. how on earth do you pick what to do so that
1. You aren't running around like a headless chicken
2. They are not exhausted
3. You are not left penniless in the process
You appear to able to do something 24/7, don't kids just play anymore?
There's an interesting article in the current Red magazine (by Fiona Gibson, who just happens to be a MNer) about this very subject. How kids are whisked from one activity to another nowadays and never 'just' play. In the article the idea is put forward that kids need to be bored sometimes - have to say, I agree. They need to learn that life is not one great whirlwind of exciting activities, sometimes it's dull!
I find myself, a lot of the time, trying to come up with activities to keep my children amused and I don't remember my Mum doing that when I was a child. I'm not saying I was neglected - but I was expected to amuse myself, to a degree, and find things to keep myself occupied. And I do remember that my oft repeated refrain of "I'm boooooooored!" got short shrift.
It's a really good article - you should read it.
Funny we were talking about this, how we all feel bad if we are not spending enough "quality time" playing with our children and although none of my friends feel we were neglected as kids, we all remember being told to "go away and play"
Exactly. I used to be out on my bike all day - didn't even have a watch, let alone a mobile phone - just used to head home when I was hungry! And I grew up in Manchester, not some rural idyll. Ds1 has never been out of the house on his own and he's 8
I think we're in danger of creating a generation of childre who are unable to occupy themselves - if they are not doing organised activities they are playing computer games, watching DVDs etc.
It sounds silly but one of the gadgets that most horrifies me is the in-car DVD player. For goodness' sake - being bored in the car on long journeys is a childhood rite of passage ("are we there yet?") Children are going to lose the power of imagination if we constantly bombard them with spoon-fed amusement!
I agree with everything that's been said so far - when I was young we tried to eat out meals as quickly as possible so we could go and 'play out' - bikes, hide & seek in the woods, etc. It saddens me that my DS (10 months old) won't experience that as he will be cooped up in the back garden!!!
Incidentally, I have a niece who has always been used lots of 1-1 play as she's an only child with lots of adult relations who live nearby. As a result, she cannot (or will not!) play on her own. Even when colouring in or doing a jigsaw she wants someone to do it with her or at least be with her and watch her - it has definitely made me determined to leave DS to entertain himself and learn how to play on his own!
I can remember shouting through the letter box..'mum! let me come in' and she'd reply...No! go away and play!
We came in only for lunch or dinner....and if i said i was bored...she'd tell me to be bored somewhere else!
Just have to say that I haven't got stuck into all the 'activities' - yet! DS1 is quite happy playing on his own - has a great imagination - or enjoys haveing friends round to play or at their house. We go to the park and swimming, but the other things like 'mini theme parks' etc I save for special ocasions only - otherwise I think they just start to expect to be taken somewhere every day - it gets very expensive!
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